Speaking during a Friday conference call touting Pacquiao-Rios, Duran expressed his belief that Pacquiao can rebound from his two recent defeats, the last being the potentially devastating loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December.
“Yeah, Manny Pacquiao’s a well-known star, but the stars are in the sky, and on Earth everybody is an equal. But he’s not finished by any means,” said Duran.
“Sure, he’s embarrassed because of the Marquez loss, and because it happened in front of millions of people, and he feels that he needs to redeem himself. So Brandon needs to be very, very careful.”
Against Hearns, Duran was floored twice in the first round — once by a right hand, and later by a left uppercut. He was knocked out in the second by a right hand which left him, like Pacquiao, face-first on the canvas, although a dazed Duran did attempt to rise.
Duran was able to rebound from the loss to Hearns, winning eight of his next nine fights, three of them by stoppage.
In February of 1989, Duran’s run culminated with a split-decision victory over Iran Barkley for the WBC’s middleweight crown, which Barkley had won in his previous bout with a third-round knockout of Hearns.
“I was knocked out … but I was able to come back and win the title, so by no means can you count out Manny Pacqauiao. He’s still very, very dangerous, so Brandon Rios will need to be very, very careful. I just give Brandon Rios the advice to go in and attack and to not hesitate, because he can win if he just fights intelligently,” said Duran.
“I just still think that Manny Pacaquiao is still a dangerous fighter, so Brandon Rios needs to be intelligent in the ring and protect himself at all times. Because with Manny Pacquiao, you don’t know where the punches are going to be coming from. And, again, Manny Pacquiao is not finished in my eyes. I still believe that he’s one of the world’s most dangerous fighters around right now.”
Photo by THE RING-Getty Images
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org